Amazing Places

Kaindy Lake Is A Ghostly Underwater Forest

You've seen forests, and you've seen lakes. But when you see one inside the other, things start to feel pretty eerie. That's the essence of Kaindy Lake in Saty, Kazakhstan. A landslide a century ago created the lake atop a spruce forest - leading to some very weird scenery.

Trees Shade the Depths

In 1911, an earthquake ripped through the Tian Shan Mountains, causing a large landslide that blocked a gorge and formed a natural dam. Over the course of time, rainfall filled the area, submerging the forest of spruce trees and forming 1,300-foot Kaindy Lake. Today, the spruce trees are dead, their roots drowned deep beneath the water's surface, but their top halves tower over the water's surface in an even speckling that looks a bit like ghostly ships' masts or giant spears. The eeriness is made all the more palpable when a light fog is cast over the water, or when the lake is frozen over in the dead of winter, where the trees have transitioned from navigational beacons to something for fishermen to lean on.

The most striking view of this forest is what's under the water, where the tree trunks have resisted decomposition leaving perfectly preserved needles on their branches even after all this time. This interesting feature is thanks to the lake's frigid temperatures, which rarely exceed 43ºF (6º C) even in summertime. Luckily, you needn't take a dip to catch a glimpse of this marvel - the water is so clear that you can see far down into its depths from safely on the shore.

Ice Ice Baby

If you do find yourself at Kaindy in the wintertime though, know that the lake freezes over and its icy waters become popular for trout fishing and ice diving. Adventurous travelers and locals choose ice fishing for a unique glimpse of Kaindy's surreal landscape from under the frozen, crystal-clear waters.

Surprisingly, this unique lake sees few visitors every year. Although located close to Almaty, the country's largest city of 1.5 million people, Kaindy gets overshadowed by the more famous and nearby Bolshoe Almatinskoe Lake and the Kolsay Lakes, which are easier to access. Located in a canyon off a dirt road, Kaindy requires a utility vehicle designed for rough terrain to access it, but it's not at all impossible.

Whether you plan to visit this lake less-traveled in summer or the winter, you're bound to be stunned by an idyllic scene like no other. Personally, we'd prefer enjoying Kaindy's beauty from above 1,312ft (400m) of ice, but to each his own.

Sunken Forest in Kazakhstan

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Written by Curiosity Staff June 6, 2017

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